Teen collects snacks for hungry students

By Jeff Kurowski | The Compass | April 5, 2017

Granola bar drive nets more than 3,000 snacks for area school children

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]ALLOUEZ — Isaac Hoffmann understands that it’s difficult for some teens to talk about their faith, but he doesn’t share in that discomfort.

“It’s part of who I am,” he said. “You can always grow (through faith). The service aspect is what I enjoy the most because I love working with people.”

Your Catholic Neighbor: Isaac Hoffmann (Sam Lucero | The Compass)

Hoffmann put his faith into action recently by responding to a need in area schools. His mother, Nicole, was made aware of the growing hunger problem through a conversation with a representative of the Unified School District of De Pere.

“They were talking about how so many kids are hungry at home,” said Hoffmann, a member of Resurrection Parish. “They don’t get breakfast. The only time they get food is at lunch. For that whole morning portion (of school) they are hungry. Even snacks, if they could give kids a snack, it would really help. My mom said, ‘Why don’t you bring this to church and the youth council and think about a granola bar drive?’”

Hoffmann, a senior at De Pere High School, decided that he wanted to collect granola bars for the Green Bay Area Public School District in addition to De Pere. Sue Zehren, the mother of a friend, James Zehren, is a school counselor in Green Bay, so he had a connection.

“We did an announcement, made some fliers and put it in the bulletin,” he explained. “We did an announcement at the Masses the week before the collection here at church, Feb. 18-19. From those two days, it was fantastic. I think we brought in 3,000 granola bars. This parish always does fantastic with fundraisers and collections like this.”

The 3,000 were donated to the Green Bay schools. The Father Allouez Catholic School community contributed another 3,000 granola bars. The drive also received $200 in monetary donations. The money and 500 bars were donated to St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in Green Bay. The remaining 2,500 granola bars were donated to the De Pere schools through social worker Melanie Brick.

“A lot of people benefited,” said Hoffmann. “From my experience here at this parish, every time there is a collection, it explodes … It was really cool to see.

“You often don’t realize, coming from De Pere, that there are kids who are hungry,” he added. “I think about when I get hungry. Around 11 a.m. at school, I think, ‘Man, I’m hungry.’ It’s not easy to pay attention, so I can’t imagine having that feeling all day.”

Hoffmann credits parish members Marlene and Terry Buboltz and parish youth council members Cassidy Bertagnoli, Jordan Joseph, Ella Buboltz, Maddie Wagner, Hannah Bues and Olivia Hoffman, his younger sister, for their assistance with the granola bar drive.

The youth council was formed this past year at Resurrection as an offshoot of Young Neighbors in Action. The goal of the council is to get youth more involved in parish and community activities.

“We meet once a month,” said Hoffmann. “We do service. Once a month, we go to the McCormick (McCormick Assisted Living) Home to play bingo with the residents. We go to the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store and help sort donations. It’s a work in progress. We have a lot of people working to promote it. We have 10 to 15 active members.”

Hoffmann is also involved in Liturgy of the Word for children on Sundays at Resurrection, along with his mother and sister.

“At the beginning of Mass, Bishop (Robert Morneau, pastor) calls the kids up,” he explained. “We take the children out of Mass and break them up based on age. I take the 3 and 4 year olds. They get a little booklet on the Scripture of the day. An adult will read to them. It’s a child friendly way to teach them.”

Through Young Neighbors in Action, Hoffmann has made summer service trips to Omaha, St. Louis and Antigo.

“They were all great experiences. I loved each and every one of them,” he said. “This summer will probably be my last as a student. We are going to South Bend, Indiana.”

“Isaac is living out the Gospel,” said Katie McAllister, youth ministry coordinator at Resurrection. “He is a wonderful example of a teen living as a disciple of Christ.”

Hoffman credits his parents (Nicole and Bob, his father) and the parish for their examples of service.

“My Mom has a lot of enthusiasm to help,” he said. “Both of my parents like to be involved. This church always provides us with good opportunities. You just have to show up and take part in it.”

Hoffmann is involved in service clubs at De Pere High School. He has also left his mark in athletics the past four years. He earned second team All-Fox River Classic Conference basketball honors this past season. In the fall, he returned to the football field for the Redbirds playing both defensive back and quarterback.

A career in nursing is the plan for Hoffmann. He is considering the University of Wisconsin or the University of Minnesota. He will continue to play basketball for fun.

“I will find places to play,” he said. “I like competing, so I will continue to find games.”

He will also need to find a new parish community while away in a new city. His family, which includes younger brother Evan, joined Resurrection when Isaac was 2 or 3 years old.

“I think about being able to find a good church that I can join at college,” he said. “Resurrection set the bar really high, so it will be tough to match.”


Save[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Your Catholic Neighbor

Name: Isaac Hoffmann

Parish: Resurrection, Allouez

Age: 18

Favorite saint: Teresa of Calcutta

Words to live by: “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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